San Jose Back For '08

The San Jose Earthquakes will return to Major League Soccer in 2008. The Lew Wolff-led effort to bring a professional soccer team back to the Bay Area has apparently been successful, with an official announcement due as early as tomorrow when Commissioner Don Garber delivers his State of the League address.

The league has apparently waived its requirement that an expansion franchise must have a stadium plan in place before being accepted into the league. Reports suggest the second coming of the Quakes may play their home games in as many as three different locations while a soccer-specific stadium is constructed somewhere near San Jose's airport.

An expansion draft will be held this November, sometime after MLS Cup, to help stock the new Earthquakes, who will become the 14th team in the league, balancing out both conferences with seven teams each, should MLS decide to stay with that format over single-table.

TJ's take: Fantastic news! As expected, San Jose becomes the newest team in the league, instantly refueling their rivalry with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Throw in the addition of David Beckham and the road trips up-and-down the coast of California will have a new intensity.

While other cities are preparing bids to enter the league by 2010, it's only fair that San Jose gets welcomed back first. There's still plenty of room for Philadelphia, Las Vegas, St. Louis, the Pacific Northwest, etc...

I only got to make one trip to SJ (for a playoff game against the Galaxy in 2005), but I'm already excited about securing my tickets for 2008.

1 comment:

Ontario Emperor said...

Though I've opined elsewhere that a Beckham vs. Brand X rivalry would be good for the sport (kinda like Magic-Larry and Ali-Frazier), I don't see it here. Granted that the Galaxy isn't doing that well, but can you really have a rivalry against a first year expansion team? It took years and years for the Dodgers-Giants rivalry to get going.